UAE and Saudi Arabia Bar Release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Due to Censorship Concerns

According to a recent report from Deadline, the release of the highly anticipated animated film “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” has been halted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern countries. The decision was made by Saudi Cinema, overseen by the General Commission for Audiovisual Media, citing that the movie contradicts their existing content controls.

The specific reason behind the ban has not been officially disclosed, but speculations suggest that it might be related to a brief appearance of a pro-trans flag in the film. Some fans speculate that the character Gwen Stacy is portrayed as a trans ally. Gwen’s own identity is discussed in a conversation with her father, and in another scene, a trans flag with the message “Protect Trans Kids” is seen hanging on her wall.

Although the fate of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” in the region remains uncertain, its predecessor, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” released in 2018 and achieved considerable success, grossing over USD 1.7 million.

Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, the second installment of the Spider-Verse saga features a talented ensemble voice cast including Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Vélez, Jake Johnson, Jason Schwartzman, Issa Rae, Karan Soni, Daniel Kaluuya, and Oscar Isaac.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is a production by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation in association with Marvel Entertainment.

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